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Old 07-21-06, 05:47 AM   #1
Al K
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What I've learned in 1.5 years of MTBing

Hi MTBers,

Some things I've learned in about a year and a half of MTBing:
* MTBing is my favorite type of biking, although I still like road biking.
* Types of MTBing I like best: intermediate level single track with hills; downhill; cross country.
* Hydraulic disc brakes are far superior to rim brakes.
* My 2005 Jamis Dakar 2.0 is a great bike.
* This MTB bike forum is an excellent source of help and information.
* Ned Overend's book "Mountain Bike Like A Champion" is very useful for technique development.
* Importance of getting off the saddle and over the rear wheel going downhill, over log piles, off drops.
* Trail maintenance is fun. With my 18'' pull-cut handsaw, I've removed dozens of big logs and limbs.
* Trails created and maintained by MTBers are my favorite.
* MTBing has made me a better biker overall, just like whitewater kayaking has greatly improved all of my paddling skills.
* MTBing and whitewater kayaking have a lot in common: skill, experience, knowledge, gut requirements.
* MTBing is just plain fun, a great way to be in wonderful country areas, a forever learning challenge.

What have you learned?
Are you whitewater kayakers also?
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Old 07-21-06, 07:22 AM   #2
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I have learned that good intentioned people with saws who clear big logs from trails frequently do not realize they're not necessarily doing the right thing.
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Old 07-21-06, 08:03 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al K
Hi MTBers,
* MTBing has made me a better biker overall, just like whitewater kayaking has greatly improved all of my paddling skills.
* MTBing and whitewater kayaking have a lot in common: skill, experience, knowledge, gut requirements.
Are you whitewater kayakers also?
I've been a whitewater paddler for over 4 years. It's taken me all over the country. Just picked up mountain biking last summer. Now, I'm combining the two. Headed to a whitewater rodeo tomorrow and biking from the same park on Sunday. I'll probably spend a week in NC in October doing the BF group ride and staying for GAF the following weekend. Lots of similarities. The biggest difference for me is that I'm much more likely to be killed on the river than on the trail, but more likely to be injured on the trail than the river. Just something I've come to terms with.

I'm going to second Gastro on the log thing. People often cut logs, even small ones, on the most difficult trail here where it could be an added challenge. It would be cool if people left the smaller ones alone and built ramps over the larger ones. There's plenty of easy paths if people want smooth riding around here. Not sure why everyone feels it's necessary to completely sanitize every trail. Right now, there's this off-camber log across my after work trail that's been there a few weeks. I can only get it to go one way, but I wouldn't dare remove it.

BTW, where do you live?
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Old 07-21-06, 09:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtis_Elwood
I've been a whitewater paddler for over 4 years. It's taken me all over the country. Just picked up mountain biking last summer. Now, I'm combining the two. Headed to a whitewater rodeo tomorrow and biking from the same park on Sunday. I'll probably spend a week in NC in October doing the BF group ride and staying for GAF the following weekend. Lots of similarities. The biggest difference for me is that I'm much more likely to be killed on the river than on the trail, but more likely to be injured on the trail than the river. Just something I've come to terms with.

I'm going to second Gastro on the log thing. People often cut logs, even small ones, on the most difficult trail here where it could be an added challenge. It would be cool if people left the smaller ones alone and built ramps over the larger ones. There's plenty of easy paths if people want smooth riding around here. Not sure why everyone feels it's necessary to completely sanitize every trail. Right now, there's this off-camber log across my after work trail that's been there a few weeks. I can only get it to go one way, but I wouldn't dare remove it.

BTW, where do you live?
Hi Curtis,

I live on Eastern Shore of Maryland near St. Michaels.

Yes, whitewater is more likely to get you killed.

Yes, indiscriminate removal of logs can make a trail dull. Most of the logs and branches I remove are across the trail and off the ground and blocking the trail with no way to ride over or around.
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Old 07-21-06, 04:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gastro
I have learned that good intentioned people with saws who clear big logs from trails frequently do not realize they're not necessarily doing the right thing.
fits with "* Trails created and maintained by MTBers are my favorite. " pretty well, from my experience.


I've learned to always have a replacement handy for any part that, if broken, would keep you off the trail.
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Old 07-21-06, 04:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al K
Yes, indiscriminate removal of logs can make a trail dull. Most of the logs and branches I remove are across the trail and off the ground and blocking the trail with no way to ride over or around.

Leave the log. Add a few cut logs/rocks to the front and back side. Ride over aforementioned log.

Don't sanitize trails. While your intentions are good, the results of unauthorized "trail maintenance" are not appreciated by many riders.
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Old 07-21-06, 05:20 PM   #7
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Some of the BLM trails around here are quickly turning into roads because they cut down so many trailside trees. Just leave your saw at home.

BTW, that kayaking talk is off topic.
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Old 07-21-06, 06:10 PM   #8
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I have learned, from having 2 kids into MTBing (my fault, by the way - I got them into it!) is that it's a lot more expensive than it looks. I've learned that "neat freaks" don't belong on the trail maintenance crew. That one should never leave home without a few plastic bags for muddy clothes. That one should never leave home without a space blanket, spare towels, shirts, pants, and extra food & drink. Never mind spare tubes & assorted parts & tools.

Mostly, I've learned that mtn bikers are pretty nice folk, and i'd rather spend my time & $$ having my kids hang with them than playing football.........

(I've also learned that putting an XC race on is a PAIN IN THE A#%, BUT, THAT'S OFF TOPIC)
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Old 07-21-06, 06:52 PM   #9
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I've learned that its great fun....but still not nearly as fun as skiing a 3000+ verticle run.

Man i can't wait for it to snow again.
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Old 07-21-06, 07:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hank Rearden
Leave the log. Add a few cut logs/rocks to the front and back side. Ride over aforementioned log.

Don't sanitize trails. While your intentions are good, the results of unauthorized "trail maintenance" are not appreciated by many riders.
I agree, if its un approachable then try and make it more approachable I like the idea of more logs make a ramp of sorts rather than remove the obstacles that mother nature provides just make them mtb friendly.
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